WPP sees Q1 growth in direct group, overall

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Revenue in WPP Group's branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications group, which includes its direct and interactive agencies, grew 9.5% in the first quarter to $903.6 million, compared with Q1 2010.

Dublin, Ireland-based WPP also said in its first-quarter earnings report that its “direct and interactive networks of Wunderman and OgilvyOne, together with specialist digital agencies VML and JWT Inside, showed strong growth.”

The company's total revenue grew 10.3% year-over-year to $3.6 billion. Revenue for its advertising and media investment management unit grew 15% to $1.4 billion. North American revenue also grew 10.3% year-over-year to $1.3 billion.

New business billings in Q1 were $1.3 billion, “not as good as the first quarter last year,” when they totaled $1.7 billion, according to the holding company. The number of employees working for WPP was up 4.2% year-over-year to 106,825.

“Early indications are that revenues in the balance of the year will grow faster than budgeted, with full-year like-for-like revenue growth of over 6%,” the company said in a statement.

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